When He Comes in Glory: Theatre and its Resources for Theology




Branstetter, Kaley

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. Early church fathers like Tertullian and Augustine argued that Christians should have no association with drama. Tertullian viewed the theatre as a temple of idolatry, while Augustine believed that the theatre provokes passions that have no part in a faithful Christian’s walk. In my thesis, I address Tertullian’s and Augustine’s criticisms of theatre, and then suggest that both authors actually provide hints that there is something of Christian value to be redeemed from the realm of theatre. I will draw on Hans Urs von Balthasar and his work Theo-Drama as an example of theology that relies on theatrical concepts and terminology to make sense of the drama of the incarnation. For the last chapter of my thesis, I will explore possible ways to use the realm of stage to understand God’s active role in the salvation of mankind and examine how the way an actor inhabits a role might hold useful analogies for understanding how Christ became man and how a Christian becomes more like Christ in everyday life.



Theology, Christianity, Theatre